Dana Blume


Dana Blume was born and raised in San Diego, California. He earned his BFA in drawing and painting from California State University of Long Beach in 2019 and is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Washington.
Artist Statement
Dana Blume’s work depicts a human adjacent reality where personal and collective human anxieties, hopes, and absurdities are personified through unnameable creatures and awkward bodily forms. Some of his works depict specific narratives that serve as cautionary tales, where these creatures engage in compulsively destructive behaviors that result in comedically tragic outcomes. His hopes are that difficult feelings can live inside an image and prolonged material engagement with those images can lead to a clarity about personal and collective fears. The depictions of these destructive behaviors enacted by the protagonists of his work are never explicitly violent and are in fact quite light hearted, with hopes that if viewers could relate to the plight of these creatures, their hijinks could inspire levity, empathy, and self acceptance. These works serve as a framework to investigate the cultural function of myth making and the monster as a receptacle for societal anxieties. In his more formally driven work, he investigates the connection between painting and paradeolia, our innately human desire and ability to see symbols, patterns, and images in abstract phenomenon. He hopes to convince viewers that images are inherently abstract and that our ability to see images is not dissimilar to our childlike capability of seeing “rabbits in the clouds.”

Zhi Lin
Ann Gale
Sangram Majumdar
Helen O’toole
Kuldeep Singh

Welcome Note

For this particular graduate class, the years at the UW have been marked by oh so many unforeseen challenges. So much of the all-encompassing and precious experience that graduate school affords was disrupted by forces brought upon all of us during these particular times. I am especially grateful and proud to have watched this cohort rise to meet these extraordinary challenges with creativity, grace and pro-active determination. The successful completion of their degrees has been fulfilled with passion and the thoughtful consideration of the issues, ideas, and experiences that permeate the world we live in.

A sense of completion, achievement, and reflection is palpable in the works brought together in this Graduate Showcase. More so than ever, this journey has not been a solitary endeavor, but rather is made possible by an essential and supportive community that includes fellow students, family, friends, distinguished visitors, staff, and faculty. I especially want to acknowledge the support and mentorship offered by our faculty and staff who are so committed to creating an educational environment where our graduate students are able to thrive.

I want to recognize and thank Shin Yu Pai, Rock Hushka, Stefan Gonzales, Sadaf Sadri, and Heidi Biggs, for their efforts and insights gleaned during their interviews with the Art and Design grads.

Thanks so much for the collective and enthusiastic support of the entire Henry Art Gallery team, with special thanks to Sylvia Wolf, director, along with exhibition designers and preparators Rachel Ann Kessler and Eric Zimmerman. The opportunity for our graduate students to exhibit their thesis work in such a special space is a fitting capstone to their graduate careers.

I hope you enjoy exploring this online showcase where you will discover how each graduate student transformed their ideas, passions, and skills into a body of research that reflects and addresses the opportunities, challenges, wonder, confusion, and joy of the world we all inhabit.

On behalf of the School of Art + Art History + Design, congratulations to the Graduate Class of 2023!

Jamie Walker
Director, School of Art + Art History + Design
Wyckoff Milliman Endowed Chair in Art